The Story Behind The Book
Breaking “Normal”: Living Constant Meditation Through The Every-Day Activities of Family, Career and HomeThere are millions of people in the world drawn to concepts like Nirvana, Enlightenment, and Self-realization. These words all describe the same thing: the discovery of our True Nature – the unifying reality that is the source and foundation of all Being.
We hear teachings from Buddhism, and we feel a connection with the wisdom spoken. We hear teachings from Yogic spiritual traditions, and there is a sense that it touches our lives in some way.
Something within tells us that the path to seeing the world as these teachings describe requires great change. In theory, we understand that this change is a fundamental shift in our Being – a shift of consciousness that awakens us to a new perception of reality. And in practice, we also understand that this change means a fundamental shift in how we live our lives.
I believe there are two primary assumptions people carry regarding the practice – the “how” – required to experience Nirvana (or Enlightenment or Self-Realization, whichever term you prefer).
- The first assumption is that we need to go to a monastery or ashram or some other spiritual center where the entirety of our days and our surroundings are devoted to the seeking of the absolute reality.
- The second assumption is that one’s entire life must become the seeking and the development of life practice that sculpts our awareness towards the realization of our True Nature.
Does the air and sunlight at a monastery touch your skin same as the air and sunlight where you live? Do trees at a monastery or ashram act the same as trees where you live? Does a chair feel the same to your body whether you are sitting in one at home or at a monastery?
As you likely gathered, this list can go on for some time.
It is not the objects or setting of a spiritually-focused location that enables it to assist people in their exploration of Being-ness. Rather, it is the intention and cultivation of a life practice that is the vehicle. Monasteries and ashrams are ideal environments for this cultivation, but you can also develop your life practice anywhere. The key is in those exact words “life practice”. Your entire life must become your practice, even if your life unfolds in what might be called the “every-day, normal” world rather than a monastery or ashram.
This has been Blake’s work for many years:
- To explore the sense of a separate, individual self – your sense of “me”.
- To explore the world of our Minds – the forces within each of us that create the unique reality and world-view we each experience.
- To develop tools enabling anyone to transform the apparently “normal” activities of their day into constant meditative practice of Here and Now awareness – the gateway that leads to the reality beyond the Mind.
As the fundamental format for all of the teachings, they are designed for people living in what might be call the “every-day, normal” world that most all of us share with family, careers, commutes, to-do lists, and whatever else may come to mind as the most down-to-earth of human experiences.
Whether you’ve spent years practicing meditation and mindfulness, or whether you are just starting, Breaking “Normal” holds valuable insight for anyone on any step of their journey.